Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Review: Flight By Laura Griffin Texas Murder Files #2

Today I'm reviewing one of my all time favorite authors, and top fave in Romantic Suspense, Laura Griffin's latest #2 in her new Texas Murder Files series, Flight. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride.

ISBN-13:  978-0593197349
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: 3-30-2021
Length: 336pp
Source: Author For Review
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound


One tenacious local detective can only get the help he needs from a former forensic photographer with a serial killer on the loose in the new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

When former forensic photographer Miranda Rhoads moves to the seaside town of Lost Beach, she's decided to make her living as a wildlife photographer and put crime scenes behind her. But her plans are quickly upended when one morning, she comes across a couple sleeping in a canoe, entwined in an embrace. Looking closer, she realizes the man and woman aren't asleep—they’ve been murdered.

Detective Joel Breda sets out to find answers--not only about the unidentified victims in the marshy death scene, but also about the aloof and beautiful photographer who seems to know more about his investigation than he does.

As they begin to unravel the motivation of a merciless serial killer, Miranda and Joel must race against the clock to make an arrest before the killer can find them first.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One...

The light was perfect, but she didn't have long.

Miranda Rhoads dipped the paddle and glided smoothly through the water as she composed the shot. Cattails in the foreground, the tall lighthouse a distant spire. In between, the bay was a vast mirror that reflected the pinkening sky.

She lowered the blade of her paddle again, this time pushing off the spongy bottom to maneuver around a clump of reeds. This was it. She balanced the paddle on her thighs and adjusted the strap around her neck. Anticipation thrummed through her as she lifted the camera. Conditions were exactly what she'd hoped for when she saw the weather report last night and remembered one of her father's sayings: Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Miranda took a deep breath and waited. Seconds and minutes slipped by, and she let her mind drift like the kayak. The humid air settled around her. She listened to the hum of insects in the marshes behind her, a trilling chorus that swelled and subsided with the breeze. She took another deep breath and for a perfect, endless moment she felt truly okay. Her thoughts were clear and crisp. The sunlight-saturated air seemed to vibrate around her. The day was still new, limitless, and she gave in to the notion that she was going to be all right.

Movement in the corner of her eye.

She remained utterly still as a great blue heron stepped from the reeds, tall and elegant on his spindly legs. Another step. Miranda held her breath and brushed her fingertip over the shutter button. If he sensed her watching, he didn't show it.

She waited for the shot. It was instinct now. Like a hunter. Another deep breath and a long respiratory pause as she stayed motionless.


He stepped closer and dipped his head down. Then he lifted his head and turned toward her, regarding her with a regal look. Posing?

His silhouette was black and perfect against the fiery sky. Miranda's heart hammered.

Click. Click.

This was why she'd come here. This was why she put up with lukewarm showers and rusty water and a bleating alarm clock at four thirty a.m. This was why she schlepped her kayak to the dock all alone, slapping at mosquitos before her first sip of coffee. Photography was all about light, and mornings offered the best chance of getting something useful. Not a guarantee but a chance, and it paid to play the odds. She couldn't sell what she didn't have.


Another careful step. Click click.

The heron turned and took wing. She lowered the camera and watched him soar over the marsh, then swoop down into another clump of reeds.

Miranda sighed. Not bad for a day that had barely begun.

She shifted the camera under her arm and picked up the paddle, scanning the wetlands for new possibilities. She had thirty minutes left. More, if the distant line of storm clouds lingered off the coast.

Her paddle snagged on something. She spotted a slim yellow cord stretched taut across the reeds. She paddled closer and spied something green tucked among the cattails. A canoe.

An explosion of feathers nearby made her heart lurch as a trio of white ibis flapped away. Behind her, something thrashed in the water. A fish? A cottonmouth?

Her attention snapped back to the boat. Her heart was thudding now as she drifted closer. The air felt charged, and all her senses went on high alert. Habits kicked in. She noted the direction of the wind. She noted the height of the sun. She noted the air, damp and pungent, pressing around her. Her stomach clenched tightly as she took a slow, shallow stroke, careful not to bump the canoe with her kayak as she peered over the side.

They looked peaceful, with their long limbs intertwined. His arm around her was protective. Tender.


Miranda's vision blurred. Her brain recoiled from the sight in front of her, but she couldn't turn away, couldn't stop from registering every detail.

The man's head was nestled on the woman's shoulder just beneath her chin, and their pale skin looked rosy in the morning glow. An inch of water filled the bottom of the canoe. The woman's dark braid drifted there like a snake.

She stared unblinking at the morning sky.


Detective Joel Breda pulled into the marina parking lot and slid his truck into a space beside a dusty police cruiser. He scanned the boats bobbing in their slips before turning his attention to the caliche lot. He recognized most of the vehicles, including the hulking old Suburban that belonged to the Lost Beach police chief....

Book 1

My Review:

Laura Griffin 

NY Times bestseller Griffin’s (Hidden) second in her new Texas Murder Files novel, Flight, is full of everything fans love about this author, a timely edge of your seat storyline, fast paced interesting and very readable narrative, police procedural attention to detail, always a strong female protagonist, a steamy romance and a murder mystery in her home state that will make the audience’s hair stand on end.

 This novel features San Antonio forensic photographer Miranda Rhoades who after a calamitous case left her with burnout has temporarily settled on the Texas coast in the small touristy town of Lost Beach. There she’s using her talents to photograph birds instead of crime scenes and literally stumbles on a pair of dead bodies then gets drawn into this baffling case because of her expertise by local detective Joel Breda who she can’t seem to say no to or stop thinking about. Breda and his team are under pressure to solve this grisly case before tourist season starts but keep coming up with dead ends until they finally get a break because of a feather Miranda found at the crime scene. But Joel knows that he’s up against more than solving a crime because he’s way too attracted to the beautiful CSI and needs to decide how to handle wanting her and working with her at the same time.

Griffin, a master of the dangling carrot leads her readers on a roller coaster ride as they find themselves speeding through the pages desperately seeking her well placed and often just out of sight clues to solve the puzzle. Along the way they’re gifted with interesting character observations, backstories that fill in all the what’s, where’s and why’s and an electric dynamic between Miranda and Joel that makes it almost impossible to put the book down.

Get ready for some eye-opening findings as Laura expertly dots all her I’s and crosses all her T’s and puts the bow on this perplexing crime drama. And be prepared for a sleepless night because once you begin reading this soon to be bestseller that stands well on it’s own you won’t want to stop until The End.

 About the author:
Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA Award winner, and her book Desperate Girls was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly. Booklist magazine calls Laura's popular Tracers series "the perfect mix of suspense and romance."

Laura got her start in journalism before venturing into the world of suspense fiction. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages. Laura lives in Austin, Texas, where she is working on her next novel. Visit her website at http://www.lauragriffin.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor


  1. Sounds great. Photographing birds far better than taking ones of dead bodies!

    1. here here! ;-) trouble is she ends up doing pics of bodies again

  2. I love this author's work. It seems she has another hit.

  3. I really need to try something by her